One of the hottest topics in the retail industry centers on the integration of content and e-commerce. In most companies, marketing and commerce are handled by different departments and supported by different technology stacks leading to potential customer experience breakdowns.
The extent of the problem and potential solutions was the topic of a recent CMSWire Tweet Jam entitled “Differentiating via Experience and Commerce.” If you haven’t participated in Tweet Jams, a panel of experts weighs in on a series of questions posed by a moderator along with anyone who cares to follow along using a designated hashtag on Twitter. The result is fast-paced, lively conversation.
In this case, I was a designated expert panelist along with Tom Smith from our partner Tahzoo and a mix of representatives from other vendors and consultants. You can find the full list of panelists and questions here. You can also find the full conversation by searching for #cxmchat on Twitter.
Here are few of the main takeaways from my perspective:
- Lack of integration across product discovery and purchase experience really is causing brands to leave money on the table. Citing research and personal experience, the experts left little doubt that silos and organizational disconnects are impacting the bottom line, eroding customer confidence, and undermining brand trust, particularly in light of consumer expectations for a seamless omnichannel experience.
- Personalization was repeated often by the participants as a way to improve the customer experience. At the same time, a widely repeated theme was around the challenges of implementing an effective personalization strategy. Good content management, analytics and strategy were cited as vital ingredients for success.
- A best-of-breed approach with cross-platform integration makes the most sense in today’s complex environment. This led to a lively debate, but the consensus was that it’s impossible for a single software suite to meet the needs of fast-moving retailers.
- The experience of editors is vital to a great customer experience. This is a personal hot button for me, and many on the chat agree that without a great experience for editors it’s hard to take a bunch of content and craft a great experience for your customers.
What are your observations about the need to connect content and commerce? Please feel free to drop me a line and let’s continue the conversation.